Category Archives: Sheffield United

Match Preview: Sheffield United V Nottingham Forest

Sheffield United will be looking to bounce back from Saturday’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Millwall when they face Nottingham Forest at Bramall Lane, on Friday lunchtime, kick-off 12.30pm.

The Blades, who have drawn the last two games, currently sit in third of the Sky Bet Championship following back to back 1-1 draws with Birmingham City and Millwall respectively, putting a dent in their hopes of automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Following the draw with Millwall, Blades boss Chris Wilder will be without three of his key players for the clash with Martin O’Neill’s Forest, defenders Chris Basham and John Egan are ruled out through injury and suspension respectively whilst club captain Billy Sharp has also been ruled out after he limped off during the draw with the Lions due to a hamstring injury.

Wilder confirmed the news of both Basham and Sharp would miss the game, at his press conference on Wednesday morning, saying: “Billy is out for the weekend and so is Bash, so that’s disappointing for myself and the football club.

“I’ve been consistent with my approach throughout the season, people have injuries and suspensions and we have to get over it, we’ve got good enough to come in and replace them.

“We will continue to monitor and assess, short-term they are out, but we will see how they go from Monday onwards, with a view to Ipswich.” he added.

Wilder continued:“The players were as disappointed as any supporter last Saturday, they care as much as anyone, including me.

“There is a lot of the line for them, individually and collectively, those boys care and they want to win.

“We’ve not been given anything, we’ve had to earn everything to get to this position and everything we’ve achieved has been earnt by having a go and coming roaring back to disappointments.”

The Blades will be hoping to get back to winning ways to try and help their quest of promotion as they battle with Leeds United for the second automatic promotion spot alongside Norwich City.

Nottingham Forest will be looking to get back to winning ways after three straight defeats when they face Sheffield United on Friday afternoon.

Forest boss Martin O’Neill will be looking for his side to respond to their three straight defeats against Chris Wilder’s highflying Sheffield United.

Since their last win against Swansea City on 30th March the Reds have lost three straight games against Rotherham United, Sheffield Wednesday and Blackburn Rovers scoring two goals and conceding seven goals.

The Reds, who have an outside chance of the play-offs this season, currently sit in 11th in the table following one win in five games and will be hoping to claim a second win over the Blades this season following a 1-0 win at the City Ground in November 2018 thanks to Lewis Grabban’s 69th minute winner.

Martin O’Neill will know his side will have to be at their upmost best to beat Chris Wilder’s side at Bramall Lane if they are to have a chance of the play-offs this season, however, if he loses this game then the owners could end up running out of paticence with the former Reds midfielder as defeat at Bramall Lane will be four defeats in their last five games.

The fixture will be a tough test for both sides, however, Sheffield United may just have enough to beat MON’s Reds at Bramall Lane.

Prediction: Sheffield United 2-0 Nottingham Forest

You can catch the fixture live on Sky Sports Football and Main Event from 12.00pm.

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Sky Bet Championship: The Race for Promotion

The race for promotion to the Premier League is hotting up with only eight games remaining of the regular Sky Bet Championship campaign starting this Saturday.

It’s a three-horse race for the automatic promotion spots with Norwich City, Sheffield United and Leeds United all battling it out for the top two spots in the division.

Leeds and Norwich have been the top two for most of the campaign this year, however, Leeds fell down to third prior to the international break following a 1-0 home defeat to Sheffield United which leaves Marcelo Bielsa’s side one point off the Blades heading into the final eight games of the regular season.

Here I analyse each of the teams chances of automatic promotion this season

Norwich City
The Canaries currently sit five points clear at the top of the table following the win over relegation threatened Rotherham United prior to the break.

Daniel Farke’s worked tremendously well throughout the campaign with a squad which finished 14th in the table last season and he lost key players from that season in the likes of James Maddison, Wes Hoolahan, Josh Murphy and Russell Martin who all played a big part.

Coming into the club is Finland striker Teemu Pukki, signed on a free from Danish outfit Brøndby on a three-year deal, Pukki has really took to life in the Championship scoring 25 goals in the division this season and for me if Norwich are to gain automatic promotion from the Championship the Finnish striker needs to find his scoring boots again towards the end of the campaign.

Remaining Games
30/3 Middlesbrough (A)
6/4 QPR (H)
10/4 Reading (H)
14/4 Wigan (A)
19/4 Sheffield Wednesday (H)
22/4 Stoke City (A)
27/4 Blackburn Rovers (H)
5/5 Aston Villa (A)

Out of their remaining fixtures I believe if Teemu Pukki finds his goalscoring boots and Norwich win four or more they’ve secured automatic promotion.

Sheffield United
The Blades are currently in second spot behind Norwich City and one point above Leeds United in the table so far following a surprise 1-0 triumph over Leeds United at Elland Road prior to the internationals.

Chris Wilder has got his side well-drilled and organised this season and the Blades have impressed me quite a lot this season when I’ve seen them, however, I still feel that they lack quality in the midfield and parts of that showed against Leeds prior to the international break.

A number of players have played really well and Wilder has worked his magic as his side finished 14th last season and are now in a three-way battle for automatic promotion.

Wilder has brough in some good players in the summer and January transfer windows including Oliver Norwood and John Egan, however, I believe that Billy Sharp is the Blades key man this season.

The former Doncaster and Leeds striker has netted on 22 occasions this season and has worked brilliantly with either David McGoldrick or Gary Madine alongside him in attack this season.

Remaining Games
30/3 Bristol City (H)
6/4 Preston (A)
10/4 Birmingham (A)
13/4 Millwall (H)
19/4 Nottingham Forest (H)
22/4 Hull City (A)
27/4 Ipswich (H)
5/5 Stoke City (A)

I believe Sheffield United have a chance of promotion, they need to match Leeds United’s results if they have any chance of promotion from the division.

Leeds United
The Whites are currently one point behind Sheffield United in third in the table so far following a surprise 1-0 defeat against Sheffield United at Elland Road prior to the internationals.

Marcelo Bielsa has got his side play high intensity football and this season it seems to have helped the players who were already at the club from last year and he’s worked tiredlessly to get them playing with the high pressing game for the full 90 minutes.

Bielsa’s sides are known for burning out, however, the Whites don’t seem to be showing this yet this season and it would normally start to show at this point of the season with his previous clubs.

Out of the squad that Bielsa has only Macedonian International Gjanni Alioski has played every minute of games that the club has played in and he’s still going right to the last minute for both club and country this season.

The player of the year so far at Leeds United, for me, is Kalvin Phillips. Phillips is dubbed as the “Yorkshire Pirlo” amongst the Elland Road faithful and has been impressive in his performances in defensive midfield or at centre back in which Bielsa has transformed him into this season.

The Whites have struggled with injuries this campaign otherwise I firmly believe they would be already in the automatic promotion spots heading into the final eight games.

Remaining Games
30/3 Millwall (H)
6/4 Birmingham (A)
9/4 Preston (A)
13/4 Sheffield Wednesday (H)
19/4 Wigan (H)
22/4 Brentford (A)
27/4 Aston Villa (H)
5/5 Ipswich (A)

I believe that Leeds will just pip Sheffield United to second spot in the table and go up automatically.

Automatic Promotion Predictions: Norwich City and Leeds United
Play-Off Winner Prediction: Sheffield United

Steel City chasers: as both United and Wednesday look to make the cut for promotion

Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday conjure classic memories from over the years, Chris Morgans tackling, brighty’s goal in the FA Cup semi final, Neil Warnock’s gesticulations, Billy Sharp’s Mr Socko Celebration, John sheridan and of course Sean bean in when Saturday comes…just me?

Chris Wilder’s side are flying high in 3rd place and are very much in the fight with Leeds and Norwich City for the Championship trophy. If results go their way the Blades could be top of the league with a win over their bitter rivals on Monday night.

The Blades are unbeaten in their last 3 matches and have won 4 of the last 5, only the crazy 3-3 draw with Aston Villa after Billy Sharps hattrick had United 3 up stops it being 5 in 5.

Star striker Billy Sharp will hope for a happier day out against the Owls Having failed to score against them in his last 5 games for Sheffield United.

Sheffield United will hopefully have defenders Jack O’Connell and George Baldock back with the former having missed the last 3 with a hamstring problem.

Form Guide WWWDW

Star man: Billy Sharp

Sheffield Wednesday are 12th in the table, getting into the playoffs looks a stretch as they are currently 6 points away with Derby, Bristol City and Middlesbrough all with a game in hand. This won’t stop them trying though as the Owls are in great form since Championship specialist Steve Bruce took over with 3 wins and 3 draws in his first 6 games. Steve Bruce has won 7 of the last 9 games against the Blades.

Bruce faces the club where he began his managerial career over 20 years ago, he’s a man who knows what this fixture means and he will have his players suitably up for the task, knowing a win for the Hillsborough club could put a massive dent in the blades automatic promotion hopes, an easy team talk for Bruce.

Wednesday could have defenders Morgan Fox and Jordan Thorniley Back fit after back and concussion problems.

Form Guide WWDDD

Star man: Adam Reach

The last 5 Steel City Derby results

Sheffield United 0 Sheffield Wednesday 0 Sheffield United 0 Sheffield Wednesday 0 Sheffield Wednesday 2 Sheffield united 4 Sheffield Wednesday 1 Sheffield United 0 Sheffield United 2 Sheffield Wednesday 2

The last 2 meetings between the 2 have ended in 0-0 draws, they haven’t had 3 straight league draws since 1993, so hopefully a passionate encounter at Hillsborough will end with a win .

Wayne Edge @oasis1711

3 players Sheffield United should buy for promotion push

Sheffield United have been the Championship’s surprise package this season. After promotion from League One, the Blades won 12 from 17 which saw them in the automatic promotion spots and neck to neck with Wolves. However, one win in nine since then has seen them slip to seventh. So, which signings should the Blades make to fight for that double promotion?

  1. Jan Kirchhoff

Kirchhoff, a free agent who has plenty of Premier League experience with Sunderland, known for his amazing passing and tackling, and even won the PFA Fans’ Player of the Month. He would cost nothing for Chris Wilder, and would also not only help fight to get to the Premier League, but would also be a massive boost in staying there.

2. Danny Ings

Ings, a well known player for Liverpool who has been out of action for a while with injury and is finding it next to impossible getting into Liverpool’s XI. However, he has proven that he is a goalscorer in the Championship and Premier League, and so would be a massive boost to Sheffield United and would give competition, or even a partnership, with Billy Sharp or Leon Clarke.

3. Jack Colback

The Newcastle United man is out of favour with Rafa Benitez and is barely getting any game time, and would not cost a lot. But his experience, with Newcastle United and Sunderland in both divisions, and still plenty of years left in him at just 28, would be pivotal in guiding the Blades to Premier League promotion and Premier League survival.

Sheffield United fans would you like to see Kirchoff, Ings and Colback at Bramhall Lane this month? Let us know in the comments section…

Leeds United vs Sheffield United: Combined XI

It has been six and a half years since the two Yorkshire sides met which ended in a 2-0 win for the Blades at Bramall Lane. Today, the two meet after strong starts to this campaign with Sheffield United sat in 3rd place with Leeds just behind them in 4th. Both come in to this game on the back of good wins with the Blades winning 2-1 at home to Reading and Leeds winning 3-0 away to Bristol City whom had only been behind for 55 minutes of the season prior to the match. Here we are going to look at a combined XI for the two teams ahead of the huge Yorkshire derby this evening.

Formation: 3-4-3 

GK: Jamal Blackman (Sheffield United)

Since coming on loan from Chelsea, Jamal Blackman has established himself as first choice ‘keeper at Bramall Lane and has put in some impressive performances. Leeds have swapped between Felix Wiedweld and Andy Lonergan in recent weeks so Blackman is the obvious choice.

CB: Pontus Jansson (Leeds)

The towering Swede hasn’t hit the highest of form this season and even to his own admission on Instagram said: “I’ve been shit”. However Pontus Jansson on his day isstill one of the best centre-backs in the league and was recently rewarded with a new five-year contract after making last season’s EFL Team of the Year.

CB: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Sheffield United)

The Spurs loanee has impressed on his spell with the Blades this season and has been part of a very solid United defence. The 19 year-old will be in for his biggest test of his career as he comes up against Leeds United facing the challenge of keeping experienced German forward Pierre-Michel Lasogga out of the game.

CB: Chris Basham (Sheffield United)

The versatile defender can fill-in in many places for Sheffield United and manager Chris Wilder said having him is like “Gold dust”. He can be put in a more advanced role into midfield if needed and I believe he offers more than the other Leeds centre-halves.

Wing-back: Luke Ayling (Leeds)

Ayling is someone that this week former boss Lee Johnson at Bristol City said selling him was “A big mistake”. It isn’t hard to see why after a fantastic first season at Elland Road and a good start to this season as well with inspiring performances.

CM: Paul Coutts (Sheffield United)

The Scottish midfielder has found the form of his life at Sheffield United and has kicked off this campaign extremely well also and sent the Blades on their way with a terrific goal against Reading on Saturday.

CM: Kalvin Phillips (Leeds)

It has been an up and down breakthrough at Leeds for the 21 year-old midfielder but seems to have really matured this season chipping in with four goals as well. Phillips bossed the midfield in Leeds’ win over Bristol City Saturday and will be a real nuisance for Sheffield United.

Wing-back: Enda Stevens (Sheffield United)   

Stevens’ impressive performances have led to Wilder’s side to be a lot more attacking minded, a trait he picked up back in Ireland when he played in the Europa League and came up against some of Europe’s top players.

Forward: Samuel Saiz (Leeds)

The former Atletico Madrid man has been a star player for Leeds this season scoring eight goals in the process including two at Ashton Gate Saturday. He is a player that can control any game and his performances are crucial to any success Leeds have.

Forward: Pierre-Michel Lasogga (Leeds)

Despite injuries and dips of form in recent years, there is no doubting the big German forward’s pedigree. He is a former German under-21 international and has been called up to the senior national side on several occasions. Lasogga has impressed at Elland Road this year also scoring 4 goals this season.

Forward: Billy Sharp (Sheffield United) 

It will be an emotional return to Elland Road for Billy Sharp on the anniversary for the death of his son. The prolific striker has played the football of his life at Sheffield United and will be a real danger-man for Leeds to keep out of the game.